Creative Development for Artists, Writers and all Artistic Creativity

Have you ever been hit by a bout of unexpected creativity? A moment when out of the blue, your head is aflame with ideas that are coming faster than you can write them down? It happened to me last week – and I felt as if I’d been gifted enough material to write at least four or five blog posts.

It got me to thinking about the nature of such wonderful creative events and whether we can do anything to bring them about.

I believe that we can.

I have a number of ways of generating ideas – one favourite is mindmapping and I also enjoy talking things through with other people – usually my wife, Lynda. Both of these are really productive. But this particular creative happening was something entirely different, because it wasn’t in my mind to generate new ideas. I was simply checking out a couple of blogs mentioned in an email from a fellow coach, Jerry Smith. One of them was his own, a personal development blog, the other was a blog aimed at copywriting for coaches, Spicy Writing.

All I was doing was using a bit of downtime (maybe even procrastination time) before I got on with the morning’s project – writing an article for a web based personal development magazine (written but not yet published, so no link to it).

What happened was much, much better.

I enjoyed reading both the blogs, but one of Jerry’s article titles, Don’t Believe Everything You Think, totally ignited my thinking and fired me from relaxed reading to frenetic and very productive thinking. An hour later I’d part drafted three posts and had some great ideas for others. It left me on a high of exhilaration. When it had gone I wrote up one of the drafts and so had my next post ready a day early. Can’t be bad!

Now – what-s the moral of this tale?

Simple – give your mind what it needs to be creative: the sparks and the kindling. The spark here was that single blog title; the kindling was the time and space I’d given my mind (I’m not taking credit for it – it was an accident in this case) that allowed the spark to flare into a brief but very hot little fire.

It’s not something you can force to happen – but it is something you can, and should, give the opportunity to happen.

If you don’t do this already then please – give yourself some time off to explore the topics that interest you. They may be creative and artistic, but they may equally be any non-artistic stimulus that interests you. And when the sparks come, when the ideas get triggered, when you’re making exciting new connections – well, for goodness sake go with it.

Because when moments like this happen they are a one time gift that you can’t recreate later. Find a way to give yourself over to the spark and the flame, and put the other stuff off to another day.

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Your views are appreciated. Please leave a comment.

2 Responses to “Triggers and Connections – Sparks and Flames”

  1. 1 jerrysmithkc

    Hi Andy – I am glad that my blog had sparked your creativity!

    I think that your point about things coming out of the blue, usually when you are expecting to have some downtime, is usually when the best things happen!


  2. 2 Andrew Leigh

    True. It was amazing how many ideas I used to get while shaving in the morning. Who would have believed that growing a beard would have an effect on my creativity?

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